.Nvidia has great plans for 2020. We’ve been hearing about its fabled new architecture ‘Ampere’ for quite a while now. And as it turns out, the GPU makers are already in contact with their partners and are all set to debut the GeForce RTX 3000 family of GPUs (including the flagship RTX 3080 Ti) sometime during the first half of next year.
Nvidia has been the undisputed champion of the GPU market for a long time now. And unlike Intel who’ve been looking sloppy with their position as leaders of the CPU market as of late, Nvidia intends to keep its leadership.
In this article, we will discuss all that we know so far about the next generation of GeForce, particularly the flagship RTX 3080 Ti. This will include the possible specs, the release date and the price.
Let’s get started!
Ampere based RTX 3080: What to Expect
So let’s start with what Nvidia has in store for us with their new GPUs. Two words:
Ray Tracing was one of Nvidia’s biggest marketing pitches for the current line of RTX 20 GPUs. The emphasis on the “ray tracing” feature of the RTX 20 line of GPUs was very high. It almost made you feel like your life was incomplete without it. But did they really deliver? No.
Ray tracing is a rendering technique in computer graphics capable of producing images that look a lot more realistic than do the images generated by traditional scanline rendering techniques. It achieves this tracing the path of the light ray as pixels in the plane where the image is generated, in turn creating genuine looking effects of the light interacting with the objects in the frame. It is a lot more computationally demanding than traditional methods, but that’s what a GPU is for isn’t it?
But the ray tracing feature of the RTX 20 was almost a sad thing. It was the opinion of most that the ray tracing technology in the RTX 20 was not quite there yet. So it is no surprise that Nvidia are using this feature to distinguish its next gen GPUs from its predecessor.
Nvidia claims that thanks to the new architecture of the RTX 30 GPUs, there will be a massive improvement in ray tracing performance. The company claims that thanks to the new 7nm process based Ampere architecture, the Ray Tracing cores of next gen of RTX GPUs like the RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti will be a lot faster and a lot more power efficient.
Another major focus for Nvidia is apparently Rasterization. Nvidia has always been revered for being more proficient in this area compared to its rival, AMD. Graphics professionals have relied on this feature in their designs for a long time. And with video games getting more and more complex and realistic, Nvidia is looking to up the game. With its next gen Ampere GPUs, Nvidia wants to improve on the tile-based rasterization they first pioneered with their Maxwell architecture and then improved with their current Turing architecture.
It is truly an exciting time for the whole gaming community: both developers and gamers alike. We are officially entering the next generation of video gaming next year, with Xbox Scarlett and PlayStation 5 having been announced for the holiday seasons. The games are going to look more realistic than ever and Nvidia wants to lead the way.
Performance boost in the RTX 30 series
Samsung’s new 7nm EUV process that the Ampere architecture is based on will be a game changer for Nvidia. Not only will this new architecture allegedly help the new GPUs run at least 100-200 MHz faster than the current gen of Turing GPUs, but they will also be a lot more power efficient.
Rumor has it that the new RTX 30 GPUs will run at voltage limits even lower than those of the Turing GPUs. We are talking about sub 1.0V here!
Officially, there isn’t much we know about the Ampere GPUs, but we are as excited as you are. And as soon we find something interesting, we promise to let you know.
RTX 3080 is coming in June?
Industry experts are currently speculating that we will get out first look of Nvidia’s 7nm Ampere architecture based graphics cards during GTC (GPU Technology Conference) 2020. And they claim that the first batch of these cards, including the RTX 3080, will be released around the time of Computex 2020 (in June).
Nvidia are in no hurry to roll these new GPUs out. They are very well positioned in the market with their current gen of GPUs, particularly with those at the highest end, the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. But there have been rumors floating around about AMD, Nvidia’s chief competitor, planning on releasing a high-end ray tracing graphics card dubbed the “NVIDIA killer” during the first half of 2020. This has left Nvidia with no choice but to fast track their Ampere architecture and the next generation of RTX 30 GPUs.
As of now, it is expected that Nvidia will first introduce some high-end GPUs in June, like the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. The release of an Ampere Titan and then the RTX 3080 Ti will soon follow. This will be followed by the more mid-range RTX 3060 and 3050 a few months later.
According to an industry expert, Nvidia originally had plans to introduce the Ampere based GPUs at the beginning of the year. But the date was later pushed to March. And now Nvidia is also planning to introduce a new datacenter focused AI product (a TESLA accelerator based on the Ampere architecture) alongside with the GPUs.
Nvidia is expected to release only high-end GPUs at the start. This is because the 7nm process on which the Ampere architecture is based is not expected to be mature enough right away to be able to support production of mid-range and consumer-range cards at volume.
Surprisingly enough, the new high-end RTX cards are expected to be cheaper than their RTX 20 predecessors. RTX 3080 is expected to launch at $699, $100 cheaper than the RTX 2080. Similarly, RTX 3080 Ti is expected to launch at $1099. $100 cheaper than the RTX 2080 Ti FE. It has long been speculated that Nvidia’s new Ampere based stack will be cheaper than its current Turing based stack. But whether this will affect the whole stack or just the high-end cards is yet to be seen.
So, to summarize, Nvidia is looking to start the 20s with a bang. Next year’s Ampere based GPUs like the RTX 3080 could be a real hit for both the company and the gaming community. Here’s all we know so far about the next generation of Nvidia GPUs:
- There is a huge emphasis on the improvements in Ray Tracing technologies.
- Rasterization throughput will also be a lot higher.
- Ampere GPUs will have lower TDP compared to Turing GPUs.
- The cards will have more vRAM than their predecessors.
- Clock speed will he increased by at least 100-200 MHz.
- RTX 30 GPUs will run at lower voltage limits.
Nvidia’s Current Messy Stack
Let’s talk a bit about Nvidia’s current stack. More accurately, just how messy it is. Here are all the current gen Nvidia GPUs, including both the RTX series and the GTX series (and their most recent prices):
- RTX 2080 Ti: $999
- GeForce RTX 2080 Super: $699
- RTX 2070 Super: $499
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super: $399
- RTX 2060: $349
- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti: $279
- GTX 1660 Super: $229
- GeForce GTX 1660: $219
- GTX 1650 Super: TBD
- GTX 1650: $149
We know. That’s a lot of GPUs right there. It has been less than 14 months since the launch of the RTX 20 series back in September 2018. And since then, Nvidia has already launched 12 different SKUs, including the most recent, GTX 1660 Super. Of course, two of those 12 SKUs, the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2070 to be precise, have been discontinued. But that still leaves us with 10 SKUs in the market. The stack has never been this messy for Nvidia before. The closest thing was probably the GeForce GTX 10 series, which had a final stack count of 8 SKUs,
To be fair to Nvidia, this does leave the consumer with a wider price range worth of options. But it can also get confusing. And somewhat pointless.?
For instance, the latest GPU that was launched is the GTX 1660 Super. Priced at $229, it is $10 more expensive than the GTX 1660 and $50 less expensive than the GTX 1660 Ti. Performance wise, it is a lot better than the GTX 1660, and almost in part with the GTX 1660 Ti. So, that leaves us three different SKUs to choose between.
Nvidia seriously needs to reconsider its current strategy. We hope they don’t repeat their mess with next year’s Ampere based GPUs.
We promise to keep you updated on all future news from Nvidia. If you have anything to add, feel free to drop a comment below.